Cross-state travelers will avoid months of lengthy traffic delays as a result of the announcement July 22 that Missouri will receive an $81.2 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build a new I-70 Missouri River Bridge at Rocheport.

The grant will enable a $240 million project to replace the existing four-lane I-70 bridge with a six-lane structure built just to the south of the current location, as well as reconstruct the Route BB interchange just east of the bridge. The existing bridge, which was built in 1960, will continue to be used during construction, meaning there will be very few impacts to traffic. Receipt of the grant will also trigger $301 million in state bonding, authorized by the Missouri General Assembly during the 2019 session, that will repair or replace another 215 bridges across the state.

The grant will enable MoDOT to begin the environmental assessment and design for the new bridge, with construction likely to begin sometime in 2021.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and U.S. Representative Sam Graves (Mo.), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, along with U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (Mo.), and U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler (Mo.), announced the INFRA grant award on July 22.

“The Rocheport Bridge is a vital component of our nation’s highway system, carrying millions of people and billions of dollars in freight every year,” said Blunt. “Replacing the bridge will create a safer, more reliable transportation route for businesses, travelers and local residents. This has been one of the top infrastructure priorities for our state and I appreciate Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s support for getting it done. Location is our greatest competitive advantage in Missouri, and I’ll continue advocating for the federal resources necessary to improve our state’s transportation system and keep our economy growing.”

“Replacing the Rocheport bridge is critical to maintaining one of the busiest transportation corridors in Missouri and the country. As Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’m pleased to see the INFRA grant program used for this critical project,” said Graves. “This grant will not only help replace this aging structure, it will also free up much-needed dollars to maintain our roads and bridges around the state – including 76 aging bridges in North Missouri. I applaud Secretary Chao and President Trump for their continued focus on fixing our crumbling infrastructure and congratulate MODOT on working diligently to find a way to replace this bridge.”

“Replacing the Rocheport Bridge is a huge victory for our state,” said Hawley. “This critical infrastructure investment will benefit Missouri residents and businesses by providing safe and reliable passage for the more-than 12 million vehicles that travel across the bridge each year. I am grateful to the administration for prioritizing the critical infrastructure needs of Missouri, and I applaud the Missouri Department of Transportation for their efforts to secure these funds.”

“I am thrilled we are receiving the INFRA grant! This award is critical not only for the citizens of Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District and mid-Missouri, but for travelers and truckers across the nation who traverse our great state,” said Hartzler. “This is a prime example of communities and tax dollars working together to address a critical need. It has been an honor to advocate for this alongside Senator Roy Blunt, the Missouri congressional delegation, Governor Mike Parson, the Missouri legislature, the counties of Boone and Cooper, and the cities of Columbia and Boonville who all stood together making the case for why we need to replace the Rocheport bridge. I am glad the INFRA federal dollars will leverage the local dollars to provide a new bridge we can all be proud connecting the east and west coasts of America.”

Governor Parson announced the state’s commitment to replacing the bridge.

“Since becoming Governor, improving Missouri’s infrastructure has been a major focus for our administration. The Rocheport bridge has long been in need of repair, and we’re thrilled that we now have the funds to complete this critical project and trigger our bold transportation plan,” Governor Mike Parson said. “Transportation drives our economy, and replacing the bridge is a major step toward maintaining our highway system and ensuring we have the framework for access and expansion in the future. We appreciate Senator Blunt, Secretary Chao, and President Trump’s continued support and commitment to infrastructure in Missouri.”

Read Senator Blunt’s press release at https://www.blunt.senate.gov/news/press-releases/blunt-graves-hawley-hartzler-announce-812-million-grant-for-rocheport-bridge-replacement

Read Governor Parson’s press release at https://governor.mo.gov/press-releases/archive/governor-parsons-transportation-plan-receives-federal-funding

ABC Labs Chapter 100 Completion Summary shows success of incentive

At the June REDI Board meeting, REDI Executive Vice President Bernie Andrews presented a completion summary of the ABC Laboratories, Inc. Chapter 100 project. ABC Labs was the first company to make use of Boone County’s Chapter 100 Revenue Bond program as an incentive to build a new facility in Boone County rather than move its operations away from our community.

In 2006, ABC Labs was in need of a new pharma lab to continue and increase its contract research, testing and scientific services. ABC Labs had competitive offers from other cities and states for locations to build, so Columbia needed an incentive offer to compete. ABC Labs became the first Chapter 100 project in Boone County when it announced it would become the anchor tenant for Discovery Ridge Research Park.

ABC labs received a 50 percent abatement on its $15 million building, which expired in December 2018. The job requirement for the project was to retain 224 jobs and create 50 new jobs, for a total of 274 jobs. In May 2018, the company had 370 employees.

During the time of the abatement (2009 – 2018), the payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) collected on the abated building in Discovery Ridge totaled $1,555,306.60.

During the same period, taxes collected that were not abated, including real property taxes collected from ABC labs on its ABC Lane property and personal property taxes collected from both locations, totaled $2,119,364.27.

Together, a total of $3,674,670.87 was paid to Columbia Public Schools, City of Columbia, Columbia BC Library, Boone County, Boone County Family Resources, and the State of Missouri during the time of the incentive program. These funds and all future taxes collected would have been received by another community without the Boone County Chapter 100 Revenue Bond program as an incentive.

While meeting all required investment and job creation metrics, ABC Labs (now owned by Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing) also helped leverage federal, state and local infrastructure dollars as it helped bring Discovery Ridge Research Park into existence. The ABC Laboratories Chapter 100 public process served as the model for future Chapter 100 projects, including Kraft Heinz, Dana Light Axle, Aurora Organic Dairy, American Outdoor Brands, and Northwest Medical Isotopes, LLC.

Thank you to the Boone County Commissioners, County Counselor, Assessor, Collector, and all of the impacted taxing entities for their support and assistance on the successful completion of this first Boone County Chapter 100 project.






2019 MWBE Contractors and Business Expo August 10

Plan to attend the Third Annual Contractors Expo: Building Inclusive Partnerships, Saturday, August 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Parkade Center. Local general contractors and sub-contractors will have an opportunity to network with minority, women, disadvantaged, disabled veterans, and LGBTQ owned businesses. Sell your products and services or gain exposure for your business, or attend and learn about services offered by these companies. For more information, contact Jim Whitt at 573-441-5544 or James.Whitt@CoMo.gov.


Hinshaw East designated Missouri Certified Site

Picture of Route B corridor showing Hinshaw East Missouri Certified SitePicture of Hinshaw East Missouri Certified Site with outline

REDI is proud to announce that another Columbia industrial site has been designated as a Missouri Certified Site. It is the fourth certified site in Boone County and the 32nd certified site in the state.

The newly certified Hinshaw East site is located at 5000 Paris Road. The site offers 57 certified acres and 81 total acres.  The site is in Columbia’s industrial corridor with access to US Highway 63 and Interstate 70. All utilities are on site. Neighboring facilities include 3M, Schneider Electric/Square D, Pepsico and Honeywell.  An additional 25 acre site with rail access is available across Paris Road. The topography is gently rolling, and the site is zoned Light Industrial.

The Missouri Certified Sites program provides consistent standards regarding the availability and development potential of commercial or industrial development sites. The sites are pre-qualified through a standardization process to meet the requirements of industry. The certification of a site includes comprehensive review of items including the availability of utilities, site access, environmental concerns, land use conformance, and potential site development costs.

Certified sites provide up front and consistent information about each site to selection professionals, reducing the risk associated with development. Certified site status also helps landowners attract appropriate buyers to the site.

Collin Bunch certified as CEO roundtable facilitator

Picture of Collin BunchREDI Entrepreneurship Coordinator Collin Bunch has been certified as a PeerSpectives™ Roundtable System facilitator. PeerSpectives offers a roundtable experience that improves leadership skills, sharpens decision making abilities and builds lasting relationships with peers.

A PeerSpectives facilitator leads roundtables of eight to 12 participants from noncompeting industries, and provides a confidential environment to share challenges and learn from the experience of others. The PeerSpectives model stands out for its trained facilitators to keep discussions on track, structured protocol to highlight challenges and opportunities, emphasis on sharing experiences rather than giving advice, safe environment to share emotionally charged issues, and just-in-time answers to pressing problems for participants.

PeerSpectives is a program of the Edward Lowe Foundation.  The foundation’s entrepreneurship initiatives are focused on second-stage companies, growth-oriented firms that have moved beyond startup but haven’t yet reached maturity. The foundation defines second-stage companies as having 10 to 99 employees and $1 million to $50 million in annual revenue, although these are loose boundaries.  Second-stage companies are powerhouses when it comes to job creation and revenue generation.

If you are the leader of a second-stage company who would like a high level view or your organization, a significant return on your time invested, better results from your decisions, and unvarnished feedback that’s hard to get from employees or family and friends, contact Collin Bunch to participate in a PeerSpectives roundtable.

REDI is licensed by the Edward Lowe Foundation to use the PeerSpectives™ Roundtable System.